nathanaels (nathanaels) wrote,

Note from Israel

I doubt there is anything more cliché than writing about the power and prestige of Jerusalem.  Is there anything left to remark on or to observe?  Like the Biblical text, is there any connection that some other viewer has not already seen?  I suppose not, but it is this abundance of scrutiny and attention that makes visiting such a place special.  Jerusalem is everything and nothing.  It is one of the most human place I have ever seen, and for me, the most intense part was the sensation of connecting with the billions of visitors who have come before and will likely come after me.

The orientation tour continues, and I look forward to returning to Jerusalem when this phase of my trip is done.  I am now in Haifa, in the north, to meet with my primary contacts in the country before finalizing the itinerary for the rest of the trip.  There have been no serious difficulties and I am not that challenged getting around.  Although most people speak English well enough, the Israeli language is interesting and I am enjoying the process of trying to use my knowledge of Biblical Hebrew to understand modern Hebrew.  Nonetheless, it was a fun change of pace to be able to speak Arabic in the Old City of Jerusalem.

I toured an archaeological lab in the University of Haifa last night, and had some very stimulating conversation with a local archaeological director that lasted long into the night.

Tomorrow I will make a run through Haifa to see the Baha'i gardens and surrounding areas before visiting with another contact in Herzeliyya, near Tel Aviv.

More to come soon.
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